HP Z2 mini G9 - upgrade CPU to Raptor Lake, getting PCA not fully compatible warning

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marv

Active Member
Apr 2, 2015
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Hi, I upgraded HP Z2 Mini G9 from i7-12700 to i9-13900. Now every POST, there is warning "Hardware configuration mismatch: Current PCA is not fully compatible to support Intel Gen 13th Processor." (see uploaded image) After pressing enter, computer boots.

What is PCA and how to I update it? Before replacing CPU, I updated bios to latest version which according to changelog has Raptor Lake support.


IMG_E5020.JPG
 

marv

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Apr 2, 2015
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I have one newer piece which arrived this week, placed i9-13900 there, and it works fine. Board revision is same as the one from September last year. I raised hw support request to hp partner, will see what they reply.
 

HXTX

New Member
May 28, 2023
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I have one newer piece which arrived this week, placed i9-13900 there, and it works fine. Board revision is same as the one from September last year. I raised hw support request to hp partner, will see what they reply.
Have you heard anything from HP regarding this? I am looking at purchasing the 12600K model and upgrading it to the 13700K. I also believe the i7-12700 comes with the lower wattage aluminum heatsink whereas i5-K / i7-K / i9 models will have the higher capacity copper heatsink. While perhaps not the issue here, it could severely limit any upgrade in performance you might actually experience.
 

marv

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Apr 2, 2015
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Sorry I dont have response neither from HP support forum, nor from local service partner. And I stopped actively pursuing solution, because I left my i9-13900 in that new one I bought.
 

willrat

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May 3, 2022
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I have also switched out to a 13th Gen from 12th Gen. Some info:

Here is parts list of the Z2 G9 with the 13900K factory fitted:

Here is e.g with 12700 (non-K)

Both units have m/b part# M82213-601

The 65W CPUS (non-K) have a 2 heat pipe cooler stack on with pin 1-5 bridged. The 125W cooler is a 3 heat pipe version; looks like the pins 3-5 are bridged to detect.
(in similar a vein to previous gens Z2 G5 heatsink fan 4 pin to 5 pin)

I'd say the 'hp forum' is more a user forum hosted by HP; does not seem to be any support there as such.

Looking at the m/b there does not appear to be anything that can be physically exchanged -- with it having the same part number hopefully a future bios update will remedy the PCA message.
 

NickKX

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Oct 26, 2023
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So unfortunately I just bought one of these things and I planned on upgrading the CPU, not realizing there are two versions of it -- the 65W cooler and then a 125W cooler...

Now I know why this was so cheap...ugh.

So the 125W cooler part number is M91003-001 but I can't see how to order it anywhere...I should have just stuck with the Mac Minis I swear lol
 
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NickKX

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Oct 26, 2023
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Could you just bridge pins 3-5? as willrat mentioned? a downside will be that it will thermal throttle sooner
I’m sure you could, but yeah this thing is already a very thermally constrained system…I don’t think it would even be worth it. Maybe I can figure out how to finagle my way into getting the 125W cooler. When there’s a will there’s a way :)

Strangely enough I can easily find the 65W cooler part


And here’s the 65W blower


okay I found the part numbers at least…

Part Number : N08721-001
Part Description :
SPS-HEATSINK CPU 125W Z2G9 Mini


Part Number : N08722-001
Part Description :
SPS-Fan CPU Blower 125W Z2G9 Mini
 
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HXTX

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May 28, 2023
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I’m sure you could, but yeah this thing is already a very thermally constrained system…I don’t think it would even be worth it. Maybe I can figure out how to finagle my way into getting the 125W cooler. When there’s a will there’s a way :)

Strangely enough I can easily find the 65W cooler part


And here’s the 65W blower



Part Number : N08721-001
Part Description :
SPS-HEATSINK CPU 125W Z2G9 Mini


Part Number : N08722-001
Part Description :
SPS-Fan CPU Blower 125W Z2G9 Mini
As you mentioned, the correct part is N08721-001 for the heatsink (fan not included) and it is available from HP Parts Store for a pricey 106 USD before shipping and tax currently. Note from our experience HP claiming to have stock is not always accurate. We've waited 2 months for parts that were listed in stock before.
 
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RolloZ170

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Apr 24, 2016
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So unfortunately I just bought one of these things and I planned on upgrading the CPU, not realizing there are two versions of it -- the 65W cooler and then a 125W cooler...
check if only the cooler is different, HP, Lenovo and Dell like to leave some VRM powerstages unpopulated in the lower TDP mboards.
 
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NickKX

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Oct 26, 2023
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As you mentioned, the correct part is N08721-001 for the heatsink (fan not included) and it is available from HP Parts Store for a pricey 106 USD before shipping and tax currently. Note from our experience HP claiming to have stock is not always accurate. We've waited 2 months for parts that were listed in stock before.
That’s not bad. I only paid around $450 for this so a $130 (they want an additional $30 for the blower) upgrade isn’t out of the question, provided it works.
Was planning on selling the 12500 along with the Nvidia t400 anyway. I’ll have to check on the VRMs though. That would be really awful if they cheaped out on those as well. Game over, if so. The post above claiming they have the same mobo is for a different product; the Z2 G9 tower (not Z2 Mini G9).

For the Z2 Mini G9, looks like both again actually DO have the same M85205-602 as the motherboard part number, with both also having M85205-601 as a previous gen motherboard. I can’t tell what changed based on the photo. The old mobo photo shows the bottom and the new one shows the top, lol.

Also note that some 65W SKUs only come with a 180W power brick, for anyone else considering this. I’m guessing that the GPU draws more power, so if it was configured with a PCIe dGPU originally it would have shipped with the 280W power brick.


65W CPU SKU:


125W CPU SKU:


I would still like to know what the optimal CPU is to run in this thing, if anyone has that info. I’m guessing any generation i9s are out of the question since they would be both thermally throttled due to the case and cooler design, and power limited by the PSU.

I’m thinking 14th Gen i7 K but we’ll see.
 
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Sequoia

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Jan 20, 2024
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Hey folks. I registered on this forum to share what I learned about the CPU upgrading issue. I got the same super annoying "Current PCA is not fully compatible to support Intel Gen 13th Processor" error on every boot after installing a 13th-gen CPU. After a lengthy back and forth with HP support personnel, they refused to acknowledge that a 13th-gen CPU on my Z2 G9 system is supported (although they are selling the same configurations). They claimed that self-upgrading the CPU is not covered by support or warranty. My best guess is that they silently modified their motherboard design after 13th-gen CPUs were released without changing the machine model and then imposed an artificial limit on the older motherboards through a BIOS update. I have no idea why because, except for the error message, everything on my machine was working well with my 13th-gen CPU. However, the on-boot error requires mandatory user input, which is too annoying for me and makes some wake-up tasks impossible. As a result, I was forced to return to the 12th-gen. For @NickKX, I would highly doubt HP would even issue a BIOS update to support 14th-gen CPUs at all.
 

NickKX

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Oct 26, 2023
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@Sequoia -- It's most likely the fan. Did you try bridging the pins as suggested above? Or just ordering the "better" fan? It's only 30 bucks. Highly unlikely there is any kind of a bios lockout or board difference.

I'm still running a 12th gen CPU in this for now, as I've got a million other problems with this computer at the moment...CPU upgrade will have to wait until I get everything else figured out.

As for 14th gen, they should "just work" -- there's really nothing different about them. But again because of the thermal problems that this system has, it's probably best to avoid them. I'm still wondering what the optimal CPU for this thing is.
 
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Sequoia

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Jan 20, 2024
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@Sequoia -- It's most likely the fan. Did you try bridging the pins as suggested above? Or just ordering the "better" fan? It's only 30 bucks. Highly unlikely there is any kind of a bios lockout or board difference.

I'm still running a 12th gen CPU in this for now, as I've got a million other problems with this computer at the moment...CPU upgrade will have to wait until I get everything else figured out.

As for 14th gen, they should "just work" -- there's really nothing different about them. But again because of the thermal problems that this system has, it's probably best to avoid them. I'm still wondering what the optimal CPU for this thing is.
Hi @NickKX,

Apparently I missed the discussions about the fans. My system is an SFF variant, and I installed a 125 W cooler to replace the stock 65 W heatsink. Indeed, I just checked my 125 W heatsink, and the fan cable does have the bridge --but it did not make a difference on the boot error message. I don't think the wattage of the heatsink is an issue here because both 12- and 13-gen CPUs have the same range of products with different TDPs. It has to be something else... It's like a detective game now, which should never be, HP!

The "just work" may or may not be true --BIOS has to include the microcodes for supported CPUs. Commercial board vendors (like ASUS, MSI, etc.) also have to issue BIOS updates before their previous-gen motherboards can work with a new generation of CPUs despite the same socket. Many people buying new but last-gen motherboards have to fire up with an old CPU, flash a new BIOS, and then install a newer-gen CPU to make it work. If HP never includes 14-th gen microcodes in Z2 G9's BIOS, I highly doubt the system can boot up. Regarding thermal, for the same CPU tier (e.g., 14700 vs 13700 vs 12700), the newer-gen ones would have better thermal performance due to improved lithography.
 

NickKX

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Oct 26, 2023
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@Sequoia I have come to find out that HP can be even worse than Apple at locking people in and preventing upgrades…they are downright evil IMO. Had I known any of this I definitely would not have bought this thing.

End rant — where’d you get the better heatsink and cooler? Did you buy them from HP’s parts website? I was thinking about doing that but they wanted over $100 for just the 125W copper heatsink alone (my computer came with the 12-500, the non-K 65w cpu), so I decided against it. If I could get the better heatsink for a more reasonable price…I would definitely upgrade though!

Wait…did you say you have the SFF version, not the mini? I have the mini… I wonder if they even use the same cooler. I’ll have to check.

it’s been a few months since I’ve looked into this but I thought 14th Gen was just a rebranded 13th gen, and there weren’t any actual improvements or changes in cpu microcode etc…and I think they only ended up releasing K series CPUs? Probably wouldn’t be a good fit for the mini anyway, since it’s so thermally and power constrained.
 

Sequoia

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Jan 20, 2024
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@Sequoia I have come to find out that HP can be even worse than Apple at locking people in and preventing upgrades…they are downright evil IMO. Had I known any of this I definitely would not have bought this thing.

End rant — where’d you get the better heatsink and cooler? Did you buy them from HP’s parts website? I was thinking about doing that but they wanted over $100 for just the 125W copper heatsink alone (my computer came with the 12-500, the non-K 65w cpu), so I decided against it. If I could get the better heatsink for a more reasonable price…I would definitely upgrade though!

Wait…did you say you have the SFF version, not the mini? I have the mini… I wonder if they even use the same cooler. I’ll have to check.

it’s been a few months since I’ve looked into this but I thought 14th Gen was just a rebranded 13th gen, and there weren’t any actual improvements or changes in cpu microcode etc…and I think they only ended up releasing K series CPUs? Probably wouldn’t be a good fit for the mini anyway, since it’s so thermally and power constrained.
I was extremely fortunate to find a used part on eBay for thirty bucks (SFF version, of course). I did not expect to find one for such a recent system, but yeah, it somehow popped up at the perfect time. My system initially had 12600; I tried 13700 briefly with the boot error nightmare and am now running 12900K.
 

Trappenbild

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Mar 25, 2024
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Quick question for those people who have replaced the system board...
Did you replace all the thermal pads on the chassis at the same time?
I'm told that the board comes with a whole new set of thermal pads, seems a little bit of a pain as there are loads of them.
Any advice welcome.
 

Trappenbild

New Member
Mar 25, 2024
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What happens if you have a 65W CPU, for noise and heat reasons, but you swap in the upgraded 125W cooler?
Would you need BOTH the 125w heatsink and 125w blower, or could you simply swap in the copper heatsink and that is that?
What is happening with the 125w blower and the pins? Basically is it telling the BIOS that the 125w is installed, and therefore allows a different performance profile to run on the CPU?
I am wondering if upgrading to the 125w setup with a 65w cpu would make it even quieter, OR... would the 125w detection mean the BIOS thinks the CPU is 125w, and runs everything louder and hotter?
 

cromo

Member
Jun 6, 2019
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Could you just bridge pins 3-5? as willrat mentioned? a downside will be that it will thermal throttle sooner
For the record, shorting pins 3 and 5 works to cheat the G9 to think a 125W fan is installed, but only on a 12th gen. I am using an aftermarket fan and this worked so far. It’s also possible to short 3, 4 and 5 to make it shut up about the CPU fan in case it is completely absent.
After installing the 13th gen, I cannot make that error go away at all. In fact, not connecting the fan at all results in the same error message, as opposed to “missing CPU fan” one. In fact, you can disconnect both fans, including the system one, and will still see “PCA not compatible error”. If you press a key to dismiss it, only then will you see “missing fans” error.

This means the problem is elsewhere. Maybe the PSU? Or the motherboard?

FYI, pin 2 is 12v. Connecting it to anything else will likely fry your motherboard.

Unfortunately, this error cannot just be ignored. I noticed a huge spike in idle power consumption compared to 12600k. The ASPM is enabled. Something is messed up here.
 
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